Cough in bottle fed holstein calf

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banksey

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I have a bottle fed holstein calf that is 8 weeks old that has a terrilbe cough. We have given him 2 shots of neuflor and 1 of baytril. He seems to eat grain/hay okay. We put him back on 2 bottles a day just because he looks so bad. And we thought it might help him recover faster. His coat is dull and dry.
We have 6 other bottle fed calves that are in pens next to him. So far he is the only one that is coughing.
He does not have the scours. He is able to get up and move around good. Does anyone have any suggestions on what else we could do?
Thanks
 

GMN

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My guess he has pneumonia. I would call your Vet see what he suggests, I know last year I had a few that got pneumonia, I'm thinking it was Banamine, and La-200 I gave them, plus the Vet gave an IV of something. Saved the heifer, so it was worth it. Sometimes they get chronic with this, effects their lungs, I would definetely separate it from the other calves, pneumonia is highly contagious.

GMN
 
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banksey

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He is also wheezing and breathing pretty hard. The vet doesn't want to come out. They just tell me to stop by and pick up another medicine.
 

GMN

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banksey":1fyvm6ni said:
He is also wheezing and breathing pretty hard. The vet doesn't want to come out. They just tell me to stop by and pick up another medicine.

If you live anywhere near marshfield MO, call the vet there, that is who we use, they are the best Vets around, and the only ones who come at any time for anything, 24/7/365 days a year. Actually why not just call them ask their advice, 417-468-2533, even the office girls know their stuff, or they will ask the Vet for you. My bet it is pneumonia though, needs a stronger antibiotic.

Hope this helps

GMN
 

Alice

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banksey":26e9j0mr said:
He is also wheezing and breathing pretty hard. The vet doesn't want to come out. They just tell me to stop by and pick up another medicine.

Vet's around here don't seem real hep on going the extra distance for bottle baby calves. Why don't you ask the vet what he thinks about a shot of Draxxin and banamine. The vet might actually sell ya' a dose as long as he/she doesn't have to give it to the calf. Just make sure he tells you how to give it...sub-Q is what I'm remembering. We bought a bottle of that stuff and it is real expensive. We dole it out sparingly.

You might be able to convince the vet to look at the calf if you bring it in to the clinic...or, better yet, take GMN's advice and call the vet suggested by GMN. A dose here and there of antibiotic doled out by a vet who's yet to see the calf...sounds like you're just spinning your wheels.

It's a good idea to have put the calf back on 2 bottles of milk replacer a day. Keep pouring it to him. Weaning bottle babies too early, you can definitely run the risk of something like this happening.

Alice
 

Kelly

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I also would give the calf some electrolytes in between feedings and some probiotics for at least a few days. Is he on any medicated pellets or calf starter?
 

Alice

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Kelly":2ofeirqd said:
I also would give the calf some electrolytes in between feedings and some probiotics for at least a few days. Is he on any medicated pellets or calf starter?

Oh my gosh yes...Kelly is so right! Nuflor/antibiotics are really, really hard on a calf's gut. Probiotics is a must!

Alice
 

vbd

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Obviously, getting assistance from the vet is the best approach. However, you seem to be experiencing the same thing that Alice and I run into time and time again as vets in our area do not get too interested in bottle calves and we are most often left to fend for ourselves...

Based soley on the information provided here, I would suggest you give the calf antibiotics on a scheduled basis (depending on your choice of med) however, do not stop the antibiotic at first signs of improvement. You want to ensure you have completely knocked out the illness. I personally like banamine as it keeps fever down, makes them feel better, which helps with their eating. If they will keep eating, you are way ahead of the game! Give a big shot vitamins A/D/E and B complex...will help as well. Get you a tube of probiotics, as suggested, and give it to him at each bottle feeding.

You indicated the calf was in a pen alone. Make sure the pen is clean and dry. We use calf hutches with a panel in front, so the total area is small, which requires continual movement to keep the area clean and dry. Ensure the calf has clean, fresh water. AND get him as far away from the others as possible. As previously said, this one will possibly infect the others.

If you are having any sunshine during the day, ensure the calf is out in the sun and not laying inside. We will close off access to the hutch if weather is good and force them out in the sun.

I am not saying this is the gospel...just what we would be doing were we in your situation. As the old saying goes...been there, done that.

Good luck and keep us posted.

Van
 
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banksey

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The calf is doing much better. Maybe all the medicine finally kicked in. It also got cold here again. Last week was humid and in the 60's -70's. Thanks for all the posts. It is really frustrating when the vet shows little concern. Hopefully he will completely recover soon.
 

ctlbaron

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Bottle calves are tough to fix sometimes. Sometimes you can't. I would give the baytril another chance. Stick with it though. Don't start doctoring and just quit and hope they will get better. After they seem to be better give two more rounds to be sure. If this calf dosen't get better with the baytril you may want to see if just pen 48 will help. Is this calf eating and drinking good? It could be wormy. Sometimes they will cough a little. Can they get outside? I have had them to cough in the barn and spend money on shot after shot and they didn't stop until I let them outside. Seemed like running and playing with the other calves did more to improve their health than all the medicine I could give them. IMO let them out as soon as you can. Unless I see a problem I turn them out as soon as I get them home.
 

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